The Atlanta Braves will finally get to see a right-handed pitcher on Sunday afternoon. The bad news is that it’s Trevor Bauer.
Bauer, playing his first season in Los Angeles, will be the starting pitcher for the Dodgers to conclude the three-game series between the two clubs that met in the 2020 N.L. Championship Series. The Braves have faced a left-handed starter in their last four games.
Bauer (6-3, 2.24) will be opposed by Atlanta lefty Max Fried (2-3, 5.12) in the rubber game of the series. Atlanta evened the score with a 6-4 win on Saturday night.
Bauer picked up the win on May 31 against St. Louis in his last start, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 9-4 win. He struck out five and walked one in a 94-pitch appearance. Bauer said he felt “pretty sick” before the game but was able to pitch through the illness.
“He was trying to stay hydrated,” manager Dave Roberts said when asked about Bauer’s flu-like symptoms. “I guess we can put it in that bucket.”
Bauer has provided the consistency the team sought when they signed him as a free agent. He has pitched six or more innings in 11 of his 12 starts this season. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 10 of those 12.
In four regular-season career starts against Atlanta, Bauer is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA. In the 2020 N.L. Wild Card series, when Bauer played for the Reds, he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed two hits and fanned 12 in a game the Braves won.
Fried is looking for his first win against Los Angeles. In three career starts against the Dodgers, Fried is 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA. He did not face them during the 2020 regular season, but started twice against them in the N.L. Championship Series, going 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA.
Fried was outstanding in four starts in May, going 2-1 with 1.50 ERA. He allowed only one run in each of those appearances. But he struggled with control in his last start on June 1 against Washington. He was lifted after giving up five runs, four earned, in 3 2/3 innings.
“Physically, I felt great,” Fried said. “I felt like I had some of my best stuff. I just never felt like I hit a rhythm. It was just kind of clunky for me. … Sometimes it’s just one of those nights where you kind of make your own luck. I felt like I was able to help myself out in the first and the maybe got caught doing a little too much in the other innings.”
The Dodgers are uncertain whether slugging first baseman Max Muncy will be available to pinch-hit in the finale. He sat out Saturday’s game after twisting his right ankle on Friday. Matt Beaty started at first base and Albert Pujols wound up there after pinch-hitting.
Muncy hit .330 with 10 homers in May.
Atlanta may add right-hander Shane Greene to the roster on Sunday. He was signed as a free agent on May 9. He made four appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett and posted a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings.
The two clubs won’t play again until Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Los Angeles.
–Field Level Media